Sylven Beck

Sylven Beck
Associate Professor, Curriculum & Pedagogy
(202) 994-9084

Sylven Beck has made a career of influencing others. For the last 40 years, Dr. Beck has been a professor of elementary education at the George Washington University, instructing and mentoring some of the brightest aspiring teachers in the country. Her role at GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) is definitively prolific: she inspires and teaches students who then inspire and teach others, their own elementary students. And after 40 years and hundreds of students, Beck's impact extends nationwide. But her influence is not confined to the classroom. "Over the last 20 years, I've realized it's not about the content," she says. "Yes, you've got to teach these aspiring teachers how to teach children science and math and how to read. But first and foremost, they have to teach their children to be kind to one another, to take care of one another. This is the most important lesson I could leave with my students."

Beck's lessons of kindness permeate her life. A member of the GW Heritage Society, she donates to the university for the same reason she teaches: because one person can have a tremendous impact on the lives of others. Her strategy may not be typical in its approach, but it's exponential in its effect. She continues to teach from the heart and the Beck Endowment continues to provide much needed scholarship funds to deserving students. And the cycle of kindness endures.

"Everyone in this life can impact others for good," Beck says. "To what degree, is a decision entirely up to us."

GW Award 2015 - Jane Lingo Alumni Outstanding Service Award

Education
Ed.D., The George Washington University
M.S. in Ed., City University of New York, City College
B.A., Marymount Manhattan College

Publications

Beck, S., Tate, P., and Giglio, A. (2002).  Meeting national standards for the program conceptual framework: An effective model of a powerful teacher education program.  In J. D. Rainer & E. M. Guyton (Eds.) Teacher Education Yearbook X: Meeting and Using Standards in the Preparation of Teachers. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Beck, S., Tate, P., & Giglio, A. (2002). Meeting national standards for the program conceptual framework: An effective model of a powerful teacher education program. In J. D. Rainer & E. M. Guyton (Eds.) Teacher Education Yearbook X: Meeting and Using Standards in the Preparation of Teachers. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

Wizer, D. R. and Beck, S. S. (1996). Using online discussions to study diversity. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 13(1), 6-11.

Presentations

Beck, S. “Shaping an Excelling Staff”, Southeastern District School Administrators Conference, Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod, 2018 Feb [Keynote Speaker]

Beck, S. (2018, February). “Shaping an Excelling Staff”. Keynote presentation at the 2018 Southeastern District School Administrators Conference, Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod; Chester, VA.
Beck, S. and Tate, P. (2016, February). “Theoretical constructs that address clinical practices for developing novice teachers”. Paper presentation at the 2016 Association of Teacher Educators Annual Meeting; Chicago, IL.

In the News

The Elementary Education Program is pleased to announce two recipients for the 2020-2021 Beck Endowment Award — Pary Aflaki and Allie Grossman. Both are completing their internship year and will be graduating with the Master of Education teaching degree in May 2021.

GSEHD alumna Monique Sullivan (master's, Elementary Education) was highlighted in the DC Area Educators for Social Justice's online post, "Teaching How Black Lives Matter in History with Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence." The article discusses one of her history lessons at Watkins Elementary School in South